Boynton police to give residents cutting-edge, if wet, crime fighting technology


Smart water is coming to Boynton Beach and it has nothing to do about what’s in your drinking glass and everything to do with outwitting criminals.

The city will be the second in the county to employee the spray-on crime-fighting tool.

A spritz of this engineered water-based solution, marketed as SmartWater CSI, applies a unique identifier that can be seen only with an ultraviolet black light.

Some cities, such as Riviera Beach, have employed it to deter crime by rigging cars so that they spray would-be-burglars as they go for items inside.

Such a baited car led to the first arrest in Riviera Beach in August. Police report a 39-year-old man broke into the car to remove items inside, but as he exited the car, he was sprayed with SmartWater. Under ultra-violet light, colored dye appeared on his neck, arms and clothing, according to his arrest report.

In Boynton Beach, authorities are starting more simply, offering vials of the unique marker to residents of the Boynton Lakes North community on Monday.

The non-toxic liquid can be applied to items as small as a ring or as large as a flat-screen TV. Each vial’s contents are forensically encoded so it can be traced directly to its owner, SmartWater’s operations manager Gordon Letschert said.

The Boynton Beach police have the equipment and have been trained to spot the water’s mark on these items. The city has invested $15,000 to get the program started.

Tuesday, crime prevention officers will hand out SmartWater kits to homeowners beginning at 5 p.m. in the Boynton Lakes neighborhood club house at 100 Redford Dr., police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said.

“Too many of us understand how uncomfortable it is to be burglarized,” Chief Jeffrey S. Katz said in a written statement. “The SmartWater program represents an opportunity to turn the tables on thieves. Every piece of stolen property represents another risk of being caught.”

In February, Fort Lauderdale began a similar program.

City residents and business owners interested in obtaining a SmartWater kit can contact the Crime Prevention Office at 561-742-6848 or 561-742-6849 for more information.


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